03 Place Center
By default, the centre of the effect is placed dead centre in the picture, but I think for this shot it needs to be just slightly to the right, and this filter gives me just the control I need. Over in the tools panel on the right, there’s a ‘Place Center’ gadget (circled). If I click this, I can then click on the spot in the image (also circled) where I want the effect to be centred, just to the right of the red flower heads.
04 Center Size
That’s not all I can do. The tools panel also has a ‘Center Size’ slider. By default, the centre area is quite large, so the lighting effect blends in quite subtly. I want more off a ‘spot’ effect, and I can get this by reducing the Center Size value.
05 Doubling up the effect
Even with all these adjustments, there is a limit to the strength of the Darken/Lighten Center effect. But Color Efex Pro 4 has a feature that lets you get round this kind of limitation – the ability to ‘stack’ effects.
In this case, all I need to do is click the ‘Add Filter’ button under the existing filter, then choose the Darken/Lighten Center filter again from the left sidebar. Again, I’m going to choose the Maximum Depth preset.
The two filters now work together to produce a much stronger effect. You can, of course, adjust the second filter to modify the effect.